Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Grown Up Brunch

Do you ever have those moments when you realize, "I'm a grown up."  I had one of those over the weekend when I hosted a baby shower for a coworker of mine.  I made most of the food and cleaned my house and many people came over to enjoy a nice brunch. I was excited to provide most of the food. It was the weekend before finals began so you might be thinking, are you crazy offering to do all that cooking? Yes. And no. I made it easy for myself by prepping two dishes in about an hour and planned it so that they'd be baked the morning of the shower. 

Here's what I made...
overnight baked french toast


1 loaf French bread
6-8 eggs
1/2 C milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh nutmeg

slice bread into 1-1.5 inch wide slices.  i cut off the smaller end pieces and saved them for something else.  Ryan ate them with jam. 

next, whisk the eggs, milk and spices in a big bowl.

grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13 glass baking dish with butter.  just take the stick of butter and rub it on the pan!

using tongs, dunk each piece of bread in the egg mixture and place it in the pan.  see my photo above of how i layered them so there was enough room.  pour any remaining egg mixture evenly on top of the bread.

cover with foil and let soak in the fridge over night!

the next morning, heat oven to 375 and take the dish out of fridge to let it warm up a little before hitting that hot oven.  i put a dab of butter on each piece of bread before it went into the oven. put the foil back on.

bake for 45-60 minutes.
top with maple syrup, walnuts and raisins!

I also made this...  because, as my good friend Nichole has taught me, it isn't brunch without an egg dish AND a sweet dish.  

baked eggs with veggies
10-12 eggs
1/2 C milk
zucchini, sliced in thin matchsticks
1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2-3 green onions, diced
salt and pepper

*add whatever ingredients you want to this egg dish.  the vegetables that made it into mine are what I had on hand at the moment.  the possibilities are endless!

chop veggies.
whisk eggs and milk, salt and pepper.
lightly spray a 9x13 glass baking dish with oil
add eggs, add veggies.
cover with foil and store in fridge until time to bake (if you do this, remember to give it a little time to warm up from that cold night in the fridge). or cover with foil and bake right away!
bake at 375 for 45 minutes until eggs are set.

The food at this baby shower brunch didn't stop there.  Catherine contributed a fruit salad and Aimee made pumpkin waffles. That happened to be vegan.  Oh, did I mention that she trekked 1-2 miles to my house on her bike?  Toting waffle batter and her industrial strength Belgian waffle maker?  Oh yes she did.  Read about her adventure here.  Aimee is a devoted cyclist.  What will she tote on her two wheels next? 

If you have to host a brunch soon, say for Mother's day?  Or you just want to treat yourself and a loved one to a nice breakfast without a lot of hassle, make one or both of these overnight/make-ahead dishes.  You will be happy you did, come the next morning.

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